(WMC) - Bands and tailgates are not the only things that boom at Southern Heritage Classic. Business in Memphis booms, too.
Restaurants, hotels, supermarkets ... you name it, they all do well as a result of the big event.
"That ends up in a $20 million impact," said Southern Heritage Classic researcher Dr. Richard Irwin.
Almost half of that money comes in during the weekend of the game.
Restaurants like Cozy Corner love getting in on the action.
"A lot of people come in, I mean, a lot of people from all over the country," said Cozy Corner owner Desiree "Grandma" Robinson. "They come from everywhere, everywhere to the classic. I tell you, it's a delight for us because we do very well when the classic is in town."
Dr. Irwin, of University of Memphis, keeps track of the city's take. He knows who attends, how much they spend, and where they come from.
The average classic-goer has attended eight Southern Heritage Classic games.
"It's really sustaining itself in becoming a major part of the calendar here that you need during that time of year," Irwin explained.
It's a good time that is generating good news and revenue for the Bluff City.
"The Southern Heritage Classic generates excitement," said Cozy Corner manager Val Bradley. "Excitement on the ground, just excitement in your bones. You just want to be a part of it."